Trade unions seek tripartite committee

The Joint Action Council of the Coimbatore and Erode District Textile Workers Union has urged the State Government to constitute a tripartite committee to abolish child workers and bonded workers in textile mills.

In a memorandum to the State labour secretary on Tuesday, K.G. Jaganathan, secretary of the council, pointed out that 77 bonded labourers, including 27 child workers, were rescued from textile mills in Erode District on Monday.

The secretary had conducted a meeting here recently with textile mill managements and the trade unions. The mill owners had denied at the meeting that the units had bonded labourers and insisted that they paid all the statutory benefits.

The rescue on Tuesday “is only a tip of the ice berg. The statement made by all the trade union leaders at the meeting are factual and is about the reality in the district,” he said.

The unions had pointed out that 98 per cent of workers in the mills were non-permanent, were paid Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000 after three years and did not get the statutory benefits.

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